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Best Writing Practice for Preschoolers

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Q: What is the correct age for a preschooler to be introduced to practice writing using an 8-by-10-inch journal with wide lines? It's my understanding that 4 and 5 year olds need to, and enjoy, practicing writing. My 5 year old has a teacher who refuses to use these journals with the children, saying they are not age-appropriate. She made 4-by 6-inch journals. The children are cramming their letters in, but the teacher says they feel more comfortable with these smaller pages — that they write and express more. Which method do you feel is better?

A: In early writing experiences, bigger is always better. You are correct to suggest an 8" by 10" page. A larger space allows children to feel the freedom of making larger letters. Plus, children need the space to experiment with the feel of the letters before they worry about fitting them on a page.

Think of learning to write like learning to button. We all learned to button with large butto